Middlesbrough Customs House

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Another of the collection of boarded up attractive buildings in St Hildas, although allegedy it will be made-over (that report is two years old already)

Middlesbrough Customs House Middlesbrough Customs House

The Customs House was built between 1835 -1837 (depending on your sources) and designed by George Burlison, it was initially the home of the Middlesbrough Exchange Association.

On 29th October 1838 it held a banquet in honour of the Duke of Sussex, who was the first royal visitor to Middlesbrough.

In 1853 the council bought the building and it became Corporation Hall before becoming the Customs House in 1886 when the newer town hall was built.

Middlesbrough Customs House 

It also houses a plaque to William Fallows “The Father of Middlesbrough” who was the 6th Mayor of Middlesbrough and a major influence on the development of religious facilities, education and public works including baths and wash houses. 

I found some old council meeting minutes from 2000 that proposed erecting a statue in his honour, does anyone know if it ever came to light ?

Update May 2012 :
The building has now been rennovated and looks very smart, however it still stands surrounded by tatty units and derelict houses.
Customs House, Middlesbrough
Customs House, Middlesbrough

9 thoughts on “Middlesbrough Customs House

  1. I worker inside the building in the late 1980’s when i was on a MBC Community Programme scheme for a year. Romms were large and spacious, but flea-ridden !

  2. Hi my name is Nichola, the company were I work is completing a project with Middlesbrough Council in refurbishing old Customs House in St Hilda’s in to a youth information and leisure centre, we are developing a film of the process and peoples experiences of growing up and working in the area as a thriving community. We are looking for old pictures and stories of what young people used to do for entertainment and leisure. If you would be interested in helping the process please contact me: nicholawellard@hotmail.co.uk

  3. Hi you might want to go and have a look at this building and area now – it has been revited and is now a lovely building – thank god they are not knocking down all of the old buildings – what is also interesting is that on the other side of the road on the building now owned by a Theatrical costume hire company – is a plaque displaying info about the first railway station being built there in 1837. I have looked at the my old maps (Middlesbroughs History Map 5 -1845 and Map 6 – 1853) and they both show a new “Coach Station” coming of the Railway line whereas the Map 3 – 1835 does not. Love your site

    Dave Tondziel

  4. On Mon. 7th April 1975 at 9am, aged 23, I started my career at Custom House, Middlesbrough as an Executive Officer, H.M. Customs & Excise.
    Coming from the north of Scotland, I didn’t know quite what to expect; I got off a bus at The Cleveland Centre and had to ask directions from a passer-by – she directed me “across the border, and keep going!”.
    Having negotiated my way through a pretty rough-looking area, and packs of marauding dogs, I finally arrived outside the large, dark-blue, double doors…
    and knocked!
    No reply…but then I heard a voice from inside, shouting “Enter!”
    I turned the brass handle and opened the door…a wide, sweeping staircase to my left, but my eye was met by a blue-uniformed gentleman standing by a desk who clicked his heels, and saluted at my approach (I looked behind me, thinking some dignitary must have followed me in)…but, no…this was a welcome for me!
    The officer ushered me left into what I later came to know as The Long Room, where I was introduced to, and welcomed by, my new work-colleagues…all of whom remain firm friends to this day, nearly 40 years on…Happy Memories of Middlesbrough Custom House!

  5. this is the second most important building in middlesbrough after acklam hall im very passionate about the historical buildings of our town,,but alot have been pulled down to be replaced by glass and steel,,shame on them,,i remember the old town when i was growing up in the late sixties me and my two older brothers were allways walking round the town doing things boys do?,,but i remember allways looking up and seeing these fantastic buildings i was 8-9years old , ive just bought 4 books about the history of old middlesbrough and find them fasinating the pictures and the people in them ,,especially those one,s of over the border,in the 1890s ,,wish i was there in them days love the pictures fantastic,lets hope we can keep the old buildings we have left,it would be a shame to lose more!!! can you email me back as i need to find a local group etc to chat talk about our past,, ERIMUS thats us ,,thanks garry walker

  6. hi im garry walker,,today the 15-6-2013 i visited the old custom house over the border!! i went inside this amazing building what a experience wow,,i got chatting with the young lady and lad on the desk on entering this great building,,i chatted for a while to them about the custom house,,i asked if i could walk around and look inside this great local treasure and to my suprise they asked one of there colleages a gentleman my age to give me a guided tour around. i was showed how the building is today!! its quite modern inside for this myspace project,,,was shown all the old rooms of this magnifcent building and this guy got the key to a hidden room with stairs leading up and showed me in there it was amazing it still had the original wallpaper of 1837 on i was gobsmacked to say the least wow,,to think ive been in that staircase to a secret room just blew my mind,,not many people knew this was there as it was a secret room,,i took a picture which ill load on my laptop to view wow ,,i would like to thank the staff for giving me the opertunity to see this amazing place of ours words cant describe how i feel? but wow thanks so much,,what a day i hope this building is here in a thousand years from now so people will see were we came from we people from the BORO proud people TEESSIDERS once again thanks for a amazing time GARRY WALKER dob 20-09-1959 BORO LAD!!!!

  7. We’ve been looking at our Family tree and discovered that our great, great, great grandfather was a customs officer at this building….

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